Thomas Tuchel has ruled three Chelsea stars out of the Premier League game against Watford, while also revealing that three further players are doubtful.
However, Tuchel gave more positive news regarding the fitness of Romelu Lukaku, who returned from an ankle injury as a second-half substitute during the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.
‘Romelu is easy. He came on and continues to train. No reaction from his ankle,’ he told reporters ahead of the match against the Hornets.
‘He is ready to progress in minutes. For sure out is Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante. We have some doubts of players, more time and examinations.
‘They are Reece James, Jorginho and Timo Werner. They all trained today but there will be some last minute decisions.’
The German boss stopped short of mentioning the extent or cause of the injury concerns.
All three of the doubts started against United on Sunday, with Jorginho scoring from the penalty spot after making an error during the build-up to United’s opening goal.
Meanwhile, James has been in scintillating form at right wing-back so far this term, with his work both defensively and offensively earning praise from former players such as Joe Cole.
Chelsea arrive at Vicarage Road on top of the Premier League table and one point ahead of current holder Manchester City, who travel to Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa on the same night.